Saturday, September 20, 2014



Surgeon Hedy Fredericks (Ruth Hussey) is driving to Chicago and picks up three hitchhiking Marines on furlough, all named Smith, but warns them that they'll have to spend the night in her small hometown of Blithefield where she's visiting her father (Charles Ruggles) who, unknown to her, secretly hopes that his daughter will stay in town and set up practice there. On the street, she recognizes a man she used to know named Smedley and tries to strike up a conversation, but he insists he's not Smedley but test pilot Morgan Hale (John Carroll). In their "meet cute" scene, her attentions cause problems for Morgan's jealous girlfriend Lola (Ann Rutherford). Later, Hedy and Morgan meet again as Morgan waits for the Russian pilot he is supposed to meet with; when the pilot turns out to be a cute blonde named Tanya, Morgan is in even more hot water. When Morgan is injured in a nighttime flight test, Hedy stitches him up and decides to stay in town a couple extra days to make sure he's OK. The Marines named Smith are happy about that as they're out actively skirt-chasing. Morgan, in love with Hedy by now, arranges with her father to fake a complication (pantaphobia, the fear of everything, as fans of A Charlie Brown Christmas will remember), hoping that Hedy will hang around, fall for Morgan, and stay in town in practice with her father.

I love Ruth Hussey in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY but have not enjoyed her in much else; I'm pleased to report that she's in good form here in this comedy that borders on screwball. John Carroll, a serviceably handsome B-leading man (PILOT X, HIRED WIFE), is even better, handling both his frustration with and attraction to Hussey nicely. Ruggles is always a welcome presence in movies and he's not wasted here. Familiar face Frank Jenks (Dennis Morgan's buddy in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT) is fine as one of Smiths, as is the cute Joel McGinnis who only made six movies before leaving Hollywood. A cute B-level romantic comedy. [YouTube]

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